Graduate and Postdoctoral Professional Development (GPPD)

The annual Graduate and Postdoctoral Professional Development (GPPD) seminar series covers a range of topics that are of interest to trainees including abstract writing, job search skills, poster presentation skills, and career opportunities.

GPPD topics are organized by core competencies that are nationally recognized in graduate education. We continue to consult with faculty and students to develop additional GPPD seminars to align with programmatic and student needs.


To assist students and postdoctoral scholars in tracking and sharing their skills acquisition, the Graduate School has instituted micro-credentialing, wherein GPPD seminar attendees earn credentials or digital "badges" for the knowledge and skills they acquire from the GPPD series and related activities. Micro-credentials are shareable on personal LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and/or Mozilla Backpack pages to show off skills that are highly desired by employers but may not be apparent from a transcript or diploma. Learn more about micro-credentials.

Recordings of past events are available in the GPPD Archive.

Upcoming GPPD seminars

2017-2018 Schedule

Building an online network digital badgeLanding a career with LinkedIn

4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Welcome Center auditorium

According to a recent study by Jobvite, more than 90% of recruiters use social media as a part of the talent acquisition process, and 87% of the respondents are using LinkedIn. These staggering statistics imply a necessity for job seekers to have not only an active profile on LinkedIn, but one that stands out from the millions of users seeking the same jobs. In this seminar, participants will learn from career expert and social media professional, Jay Johnson, how to leverage the power of the online networking tool LinkedIn to identify, apply, and land the job of their dreams. The seminar will explore advanced methods of searching and identifying prospective career opportunities, connecting and engaging with key personnel and influencers, and building a profile that will get you noticed. This is a seminar you won't want to miss; your career could depend on it.

After attending this GPPD, attendees will be able to: 

  • Design a compelling LinkedIn profile to stand out from competing applicants and capture the interest of potential recruiters. 
  • Utilize advanced search methods to identify and engage potential hiring managers, decision makers, or company personnel for respective career targets. 
  •  Apply specific LinkedIn tools and functions to maximize their online potential. 
  • Avoid common LinkedIn errors and blunders in job seeking.

This careers event is co-sponsored by the BEST [Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training] program in the Graduate School.

Register online

poster design digital badgePoster design and presentation

4 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 16, 2018

State Hall 325

In this session, attendees will learn best practices in designing posters for presentation at conferences as well as presenting poster information to conference attendees.

After attending this GPPD, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify best practices in poster design including use of graphics, font, organization, and scope.
  • Describe the scope of one's poster presentation to create an effective poster.
  • Provide and welcome feedback to improve poster design skills.
  • Describe in 5-10 minutes the highlights of one's poster research.
  • Provide and welcome feedback to improve oral presentation skills.

Register online

job talk digital badgeAcademic job talk

4 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, January 23, 2018
State Hall 325

Panelists will share best practices in preparing and delivering an academic "job talk," a centerpiece of any interview for an academic job. Panelists will engage in discussion with attendees about behaviors that convey professionalism and expertise.

  • Identify best practices in crafting and delivering job talks for post-doc and academic positions.
  • Avoid practices that distract an audience during longer presentations.
  • Provide and welcome feedback to improve presentation skills.
  • Create and deliver a competitive job talk to colleagues and potential employers.

Register online

Ask Human Resources: What can HR do for me as a WSU postdoctoral scholar?

4 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018

Mazurek 242/3

The postdoctoral scholar session of the Graduate and Postdoctoral Professional Development (GPPD) session will provide a general overview of how HR supports postdoctoral scholar initiatives at the university. In addition, it will provide career service training to help postdocs transition into future positions.  The session will include an overview by Mrs. Cindy Pellow, WSU HR Consultant, on what HR can do for postdoctoral scholars at the university, followed by a question and answer session to discover additional unrecognized postdoc needs. It will conclude with a presentation on differences between a resume and a curriculum vitae, and cover the ABC's of interviewing tactics.

Register online

graphic design digital badgeVisual communication in science

Noon to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Undergraduate Library (UGL) Community Room, 3rd floor

Communicating well about ideas, processes, and results is as critical to the work of science as data collection, analysis, etc. The effective use of visual information is indispensable in scientific communication. Using examples of from scientific diagrams, tables, and illustrations, this presentation will discuss the "hierarchy of information" and the kinds of visual signaling that make it work. This seminar will include both lecture and workshop time. Participants are asked to bring 3 printed examples and data from their own research that they want to make into a diagram. This is a brown bag lunch event with water provided.

Session Leader: Judith A. Moldenhauer, M.F.A. (Art & Art History, Graphic Design)

After attending this GPPD, attendees will be able to:

  • Recognize the visual qualities that make good, effective scientific diagrams.
  • Know the importance of the hierarchy of information to data in the creation of effective diagrams.
  • Articulate the one main thing they want to communicate with data through in a diagram.
  • Create a diagram that communicates one main point by effectively presenting data using the visual hierarchy of information.

Register online

teaching portfolio digital badgeCreating a teaching portfolio

Noon to 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Student Center, Hilberry A

Teaching portfolios can serve as a particularly useful communication tool during the academic job search. Portfolios offer a way to communicate to potential colleagues your preparation and commitment to student learning and teaching. In this workshop, we will explore the purpose of and most common elements of a teaching portfolio, the steps to preparing your own, and identify campus resources s to help you complete your own portfolio it in a timely and efficient manner. 

Session leaders: Tonya Whitehead and Sara Kacin, Ph.D., Office of Teaching and Learning

After attending this GPPD, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe the purpose of a teaching portfolio.
  • Identify the key ingredients to incorporate into a teaching portfolio.
  • Identify the essential elements of an effective statement of teaching philosophy. 
  • Create a teaching portfolio following an organized strategy.

Register online

View past events, download presentation materials and listen to recorded audio.